Happy (upcoming) Thanksgiving! We’ve got big eyes, barbarians, and magical bunnies for you in this week’s Comics Club! (The above image: one of Margaret Keane’s paintings, from 2005.)

 

The American Visionary Art Museum—which collects and displays work by self-taught creators outside the channels of the art establishment—is sponsoring a Sock Monkey show-and-tell party. You can participate by (1.) assembling a Sock Monkey with the help of AVAM’s how-to video, and (2.) registering (for free) and attending the Zoom party on either Saturday, December 5 from 1-2pm or Sunday, December 6 from 1-2pm to show off your creation. You can also browse the AVAM website to discover “Bling Universe” (a collection of big, shiny sculptures like the “Cosmic Galaxy Egg”) and the “World’s First Family of Robots” built by DeVon Smith.

 

 

 

Our friends at First Second have posted on YouTube two new installments of their video series Sketch School, where cartoonists draw characters from their graphic novels and talk about their recent books. First up are Natalie Riess and Sara Goetter, who re-create on paper Goro, a dinosaur adventurer from their fantasy comic Dungeon Critters. (Both Riess and Goetter have fun Instagram accounts full of art too.) And then Jason Walz draws The Sheriff, an evil alien from the science-fiction dystopia of the Last Pick series. You should also visit Walz’s website, featuring his poster work and monster designs contributed by readers.

 

 

Margaret Keane’s paintings of big-eyed children and adorable pets were wildly popular during the early-1960s, and not only in art galleries: her images adorned prints, plates and mugs, greeting cards, and other merchandise. At first, her husband Walter tried to take credit for her art—a scandal dramatized in the Tim Burton biopic Big Eyes (2014)—but after proving herself the creator of the Keane aesthetic in a courtroom trial against her husband, Margaret took her rightful place in American visual culture. And at age 93, she continues to work: check out the Keane Eyes Gallery website for a generous sample of her work, and also visit her Instagram account.

 

The main character of Shauna J. Grant’s online comic Princess LovePon is Lia Sagamore, who describes herself like this: “I’m your average, every day, high school girl. I like games, music…and comics and cute cartoons. You know, the usual.” Things get unusual, however, when a magical flying bunny (named Hunnie!) bops Lia on the head and enlists her help to “fight against darkness and despair” as personified by the Dark Queen. Everything about Princess LovePon affectionately emulates kawaii manga (cute Japanese comics) while giving all-ages readers a fun, engrossing adventure tale. Begin reading Princess LovePon here. Grant’s website also includes stand-alone illustrations from the series, and there’s more Princess art at Grant’s Instagram. (Thanks to Avery Kaplan for the link!)

 

 

 

 

The next issue of MAD (#17, due December 9) will be a tribute to Sergio Aragonés, the legendary Spanish / Mexican cartoonist who began contributing to MAD in 1963. Aragonés is best known for his “marginals,” silent little gags tucked away in the tops, bottoms, and sides of the pages of MAD—baby boomers will immediately recognize his broad, bigfoot cartoon style.

Aragonés has also worked extensively in comic books and other media. He wrote and drew for several non-superhero DC comics (such as The Adventures of Jerry Lewis (1957-1971), Angel and the Ape (1968-69), and the humorous western Bat Lash [1968-69]), and with collaborators Mark Evanier, Stan Sakai, and Tom Luth Aragonés has produced over 150 issues of Groo the Wanderer, starring a hopelessly inept sword-and-sorcery warrior. Let’s have our own Aragonés celebration here at the Club: below are some samples of his joyous, uproarious art, including the cover to the upcoming MAD. 

 

This weekly blog post is written and compiled by Craig Fischer. To send along recommendations, ideas, and comments, contact Craig at craig_fschr@yahoo.com [.]

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Playhouse Comics Club, Issue #29 (November 13, 2020)Playhouse Comics Club, Issue #31 (November 27, 2020)
All comments (2)
  • Mark H. Hayes
    11/20/2020 at 8:27 am

    Sergio Aragones was the nicest man I ever met at Heroes Con back in the day! George Perez was a close second!

    Reply
    • Craig Fischer
      @Mark H. Hayes
      11/22/2020 at 6:17 pm

      I never met Aragones, though I'd certainly love to!

      Reply

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